"He had an uncanny way of making himself indispensable to people who really needed someone indispensable," says Rudy Maxa, a Washington-based journalist and the former host of public radio's The Savvy Traveler. "At the same time, he always put a very personal imprint on his hotels, an imprint that every guest could feel."

This Tuesday is no different than any other. Bromley spends the bulk of it prowling the hotel, cleaning barely visible smudges from glass doors, picking imperceptible dust bunnies off the carpet, and stopping guests to ask if there's anything wrong. On his way to inspect the bar, a businessman beckons him over.

"On your menu it says 'thick bacon,'" the man reports. "But when I ordered it" - he holds his thumb and index finger close together - "it was barely this thin."

"We can't go around promising thick bacon if it's not," Bromley says. He jots down a note on his index card. "Thank you very much for that," he tells the man.

"I want to know about everything," says Bromley. "If you stop worrying about the details, that's when your standards start to slip."
The most common guest requests at the Four Seasons San Francisco? Here are the top four.

• A great cheeseburger and French fries

• A great martini

• Room service that arrives on time

• Fast check in, fast check out


Here are Stan Bromley's top tips for maximizing your stay at a high-end hotel.

1. Give people recognition when they give you magical moments of service. Compliment them to management.

2. Don't be shy. Speak up if you think something's not right.